My Littlest Pro Tools Rig


Avid has introduced three Pro Tools Essentials bundles – three inexpensive “gateway drug” introductions to the world of Pro Tools.

The three bundles, Pro Tools Vocal Studio, Pro Tools Recording Studio and Pro Tools KeyStudio, are entry level offerings aimed at people who want to create and share music, podcasts and narrations.

Compatible with both Mac and PC, the Pro Tools Vocal Studio, Pro Tools Recording Studio and Pro Tools KeyStudio bundles will be available beginning in mid-September for US $129, £79.

Pro Tools M-Powered Essential music software is bundled with M-Audio interfaces, in the following three configurations:

  • Pro Tools Vocal Studio turns the computer into a complete vocal recording studio. This bundle includes the Producer USB microphone, a studio-quality mic that lets people capture vocals, as well as record acoustically played instruments. The Producer USB mic lets people record with stunning clarity, whether they’re singing a future hit song or narrating a family biography. And with Pro Tools M-Powered Essential, it’s easy to remix vocals to produce professional-quality soundtracks and podcasts with ease.
  • Pro Tools Recording Studio enables people to craft professional-sounding songs and remixes — no experience needed. With the included Fast Track® USB audio interface plugged right into the computer, music enthusiasts can capture pristine digital sound for any recording project, whether from a guitar or a standard microphone. With Pro Tools M-Powered Essential software, consumers can dub, mix, remix, edit, blend, restore, hone and more to create audio projects that will sound like they came from a pro — even if someone’s never recorded a note before.
  • Pro Tools KeyStudio features the M-Audio KeyStudio USB keyboard, a simple, yet high-quality 49-note velocity-sensitive keyboard that also functions as a MIDI interface. With Pro Tools KeyStudio, users can record a single keyboard track or create a complete orchestral recording using the KeyStudio to input any of the 60+ virtual instruments that come loaded with Pro Tools M-Powered Essential.

3 thoughts on “My Littlest Pro Tools Rig

  1. Cheap (inexpensive) it may be, but it's still hopelessly tied to their hardware exclusively. Want to add vocals/audio to your Pro Tools KeyStudio tracks? Well, better go buy an mBox as well, because otherwise it won't let you record that audio. Already have a perfectly serviceable audio interface from not-Avid-company-X? Too bad, Pro Tools won't let you use it.

    It's the crack dealer approach to selling audio tools: the first one is cheap as hell, but then you're addicted and have to pay through the nose for the rest of your life.

  2. It is tied to the hardware, but that is part of what makes the LE and M-Powered rigs stable. I have tried Presonus gear, Cakewalk products, N-Track, Cubase and others and they all had issues (except for good old Cool Edit Pro). I have had PT LE rigs, starting with ver. 5.1 and now on 8.0 and the hardware and software combinations I have had were solid and reliable (except for the Mbox Mini). This includes an Audiomedia III card, Digi 001, Digi 002 Rack and my favorite, the first generation Mbox. They all work fine or worked fine when I traded up to something else.

    I bought the Pro Tools Recording Studio version of this "Pro Tools Essential" the other day that comes with the M-Audio Fast Track and I think it is fine for someone starting out with recording. There are a lot of features missing that are present in LE, like the ability to create groups, latch/unlatch solo and mute, hide and inactivate tracks, plugins are limited to the ones that come with it…… but for someone writing songs, overdubbing a track at a time, it works fine. The preamp in the Fast Track is adequate and the DI worked okay on my passive Pbass pickups. Nothing to write home about, but definitely useable for a beginning recordist or even someone like me who has done this awhile and mostly needs it as a tool to work up song demos to pitch to publishers. I will probably give one of these to a niece who has music interests and to a guitarist/friend who is not wild about working with computers. This combination is easy to install, is stable even when playing back 16 audio tracks on a USB system and because it lacks a lot of the bells and whistles in the LE and HD versions of their software, it is intuitive to use and not cluttered on the screen. The limited menus are very easy to navigate. Intermediate and Power Users are not going to even want to give this a second look, but I think it is fine for a starter DAW.

  3. Bill

    There are definitely two sides to this – but these sets offer the same benefits that Macs do over PCs, or that Propellerhead Reason offers over other virtual studios. Stability, reliability and predictability.

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